Jan Kopecky took an early lead on his home round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, by winning the Friday night superspecial that kicked off the event.
In tricky, damp conditions under darkness, Kopecky beat his team-mates Juho Hanninen and Freddy Loix by 2.2 and 3.0 seconds respectively to lead an early Skoda one-two-three on the nine kilometer long stage.
Kris Meeke was within 0.2s of Loix in fourth, ahead of fellow Peugeot driver Bryan Bouffier - who was making his best start to an IRC round yet.
Local driver Vaclav Pech did a fine job to take sixth in his Mitsubishi.
Guy Wilks marked his return after a three-month injury recuperation by setting the seventh-fastest time in his Skoda UK Fabia.
Pavel Valousek (Skoda), Thierry Neuville (Peugeot) and Andreas Mikkelsen (Ford) completed the top 10, just ahead of former works Ford World Rally Championship driver Roman Kresta, who is having an outing in a Skoda for his home IRC rally.
Proton's new drivers Niall McShea and Keith Cronin made a cautious choice of wet tires and were classified back in 24th and 32nd places.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. Jan Kopecky Skoda 7m15.0s
2. Juho Hanninen Skoda + 2.2s
3. Freddy Loix Skoda + 3.0s
4. Kris Meeke Peugeot + 3.2s
5. Bryan Bouffier Peugeot + 4.0s
6. Vaclav Pech Mitsubishi + 6.5s
7. Guy Wilks Skoda + 7.4s
8. Pavel Valousek Skoda + 7.5s
9. Thierry Neuville Peugeot + 7.5s
10. Andreas Mikkelsen Ford + 8.8s